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Who will be World Champion? - A review of the contenders, and your chance to vote

Published by James

As Formula One heads to Spa Francorchamps this weekend five drivers are all within striking distance of winning the 2010 World Drivers’ Championship with only 20 points separating the leader and the driver in 5th. With seven races remaining and a maximum of 175 points available any one of the five could become champion. Lets take a look at the contenders.

Mark Webber

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Mark Webber has so far won 4 races, two more than his rivals and finds himself leading the championship. Webber has a great chance of becoming the third Australian to win the championship, the last being Alan Jones some 30 years ago.

He has brushed off any suggestion that he was the 'number two' at Red Bull with brilliant and dominating drives in Spain and Monaco. His only retirement came after a dramatic exit from the European Grand Prix and Webber has scored points in every other race so far.

If he can maintain the level he is currently driving at then it will be difficult for anyone to beat the Australian.

Lewis Hamilton

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Lewis sits second in the championship thanks largely to putting in consistent performances in the first half of the season. Along with his two wins in Turkey and Canada he has finished on the podium another 4 times, scoring points in all but two races with retirements in Spain and Hungary.

Whilst the McLaren has not been the fastest car this season, Hamilton has made the most of the car underneath him and has managed to stick with the faster cars, picking up points when his rivals have misfortune. If McLaren can close the gap to the Red Bull then Lewis will be in with a chance of claiming his second championship.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel is the driver many tipped to win this year’s championship and in qualifying he has been the man to beat with 7 pole positions. However come Sunday afternoon Vettel has been unable to turn pole position into a race win, the only exception being Valencia. At the start of the season reliability was the main issue but recently it has been more down to his own driving.

Losing positions at the start at Silverstone and Hockenheimring and the safety car incident at the Hungoraring, has cost Vettel around 30-40 points. Provided he can start turning pole positions into race victories Vettel has a great chance of becoming World Champion.

Jenson Button

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When Jenson Button joined McLaren a lot of people wondered what he was thinking in going up against Lewis Hamilton. Now over half season later Jenson is only 6 points behind Lewis in championship and has won two races in Australia and China thanks to some brilliant calls to change tyres before those around him.

His only retirement of the season came in Monaco with an engine failure, the result of a bung being left in an air intake, that aside he has managed to score points in every other race proving that the move to McLaren wasn’t so bad after all.

Much like Lewis, if McLaren can close the gap to Red Bull then Jenson has a chance of claiming his second title and becoming the first Brit to win back to back titles.

Fernando Alonso

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Fernando’s arrival at Ferrari got off to a great start winning the first race in Bahrain but from there he and the team seemed to have struggled. Mistakes in Australia, Malaysia, China and Monaco along with difficult races in Valencia and Britain have cost Fernando a large chunk of points. Add in the controversial win in Germany and Fernando’s first season at Ferrari has been like a rollercoaster ride. Ferrari has managed to close the gap to Red Bull and have been their closest challengers in recent races but it remains to be seen if they can beat Red Bull consistently. Provided there are no mistakes from either driver or team then Fernando is in with a shout of winning the title as the other contenders all face battle from within the team.

Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button all have the experience of managing the pressure that comes towards the end of the championship. While Red Bull duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel are both looking to win their first championship and dealing with the pressure for the first time. Whoever wins the world championship at the end of the season will have battled against 4 other drivers, making this the most competitive and open championship for quite some time. My personal preference would be to see Fernando Alonso clinch his third World Championship. It is not going to be an easy task but if he can reproduce the form that won him two World Championships with Renault he will be difficult to beat.

Whilst the rest of the season remains a mystery, there two questions that come up; can Red Bull make the most of the advantage that they enjoy over the rest of the field? or will Lewis, Jenson or Fernando snatch the title from Red Bull duo?

Now it is over to you, who do you think will be World Champion?